Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video organizer, part of Acrobat 7 Essential Training.
- View Offline
If you're like me, at least if you're like me when it comes to dealing with PDF files, you probably A: Deal with a lot of PDF files on a day-to-day basis and B: have them scattered all over your hard drive in different folders and locations. I spend a lot of time; well I used to spend a lot of time, searching for PDF files that I have stored in one place or another. Now fortunately in Acrobat 7 Adobe has added a cool new feature that allows me to keep better track of where my PDF files are stored. Now most applications these days do give you the option to easily select documents that you have had recently opened simply by going to the file menu, and you'll find that a lot of applications these days have something called "Open recent file" or something similar to that.
Acrobat's had this for several versions and Acrobat 7 has it as well. You can see here I have a listing of the files that I've opened up recently in Acrobat 7. What's new to Acrobat 7 is this menu called history. You can see when I roll over that it's broken down into today, yesterday, the last week, the last two weeks, the last month, and the last year, and basically I can just roll my mouse over these and see all the different PDF documents that I've been working with within these time periods. I think that's pretty amazing especially the last 12 months.
I mean you can remember up to 12 months of PDF documents so you know maybe if you worked with a PDF document way back in January or something like that and you are trying to remember exactly where it is at on your hard drive. If you came back in Acrobat, you could just come over to the last 12 months and pick it out from the list. They also added the convenient clear history command there if you just want to get rid of everything to erase your tracks. You'll notice that there is also a command here called Open Organizer and all this history stuff is actually part of this new feature in Acrobat 7 called Organizer.
Before I actually open that up, let me just show you a quick preference. If I go to Acrobat preferences and on a PC that would be Edit preferences and under the categories on the left hand side of this window I am going to make sure I have start up selected. Here among other things is where you can determine how far back Acrobat will remember your documents. You can say remember files in organizer history for last 12 months. You can go all the way up to two years or don't remember any PDFs if you don't want it to do it at all. You can even say how many maximum documents will appear in the most recently used list.
What that refers to is this list here. You can have at this point minus (inaudible) remember up to nine different items in this list. So in case you want to go in and customize your own history settings, that's where you will find them under Acrobat preferences or in the case of Windows - Edit preferences. Okay, but as I was mentioning, this new history feature is part of the new organizer feature of Acrobat. You can see it is located here in my tool bar. I can also get it by coming up to file organizer, open organizer. There is also something here called collectionable, which I'll be getting to in just a moment.
So there's several ways to get to your organizer. I am just going to click it right up here on my tool bar, and this is my organizer window. You can see this window is broken down into several panes. Over here I have my history so I can see the exact same history categories that I saw under the file menu. You can see it is broken down into today, yesterday, and so on, and so on. This actually takes a step further than what I see when I come up to my file, Open recent file history menu here because what I can do is actually see the files and little thumbnails of the files that I've opened, in this case, today.
I can see that I've opened up Alice. PDF, Sales. PDF. Down here you see this little globe icon here. This indicates that this is the PFD that I opened up on the web. I'll talk about that in just a second, but you can see here with Alice.pdf selected, I actually see a preview of the document over here on this far right pane. I can actually grab this zoom slider and zoom all the way in. If I just want to see thumbnails of this particular document, I can adjust the size just by moving that slider, which is really a convenient way of making sure that this is the document that I am looking for instead of having to open it to check it out in the main Acrobat document window.
You can do the same with this document. You can see here if you want to zoom in on that, and in this one here, as I mentioned, this was a PDF that I opened out on the web. Let me zoom out a little bit. You can see what it says here that organizer can't show the thumbnails for this particular page because it's open from a web browser. It says you can open it by double clicking it or by choosing open in the toolbar up here. So this is really cool because occasionally you'll be out surfing the web and you'll just maybe do a search and come across a PDF document. Maybe a week or two later you'll be thinking where was that PDF document that I found on the web.
It's no longer in your browser history or anything like that. You can't remember where it is. Fortunately, now in Acrobat it remembers the exact address of where these PDF files were located. Doubly fortunate for Mac users Acrobat 7 now supports displaying PDF documents directly in your web browser. Windows users have been able to do this forever. Mac (inaudible) was sort of skipped over in Acrobat 5 and 6. You couldn't view a PDF in your web browser without a third party plug in. Thankfully now in Acrobat 7 we can do that.
If If I wanted to actually go out and look at this on the web, I would just double click it. It takes me to my web browser and what it's doing it's actually going right to the address that it remembers and it's loading the acrobat viewer right into my web browser, and there it is. It's just a large photograph of these ugly gents. I'll just go ahead and close my browser. So that was a remarkable way, in my opinion, of being able to keep track of not just the PDFs that you view in Acrobat but also the PDFs that you view on the web.
So again, that's the history section of our organizer. In this next ping down here we have this broken down into two main categories. We have our computer, and this is the computer that I'm currently on Lynda.com's computer 2. This is just a way of being able to navigate your entire hard drive directly from Acrobat instead of needing to go up here to file open. So if you know exactly where on your hard drive a particular file you are looking for is located you can just navigate to it from here. Also located here is something called favorite places, and we have these default locations of documents and desktop.
Favorite places are just places where you maybe keep a lot of PDF files. Rather having to navigate to that folder all the time, you can just make a quick shortcut to it. As I just said, there are-it does provide you quick access to the documents folder and the desktop folder, but if you wanted to add your own favorite place, all you have to do is come down here and click on the folder with the little heart icon on it called Add a favorite place. Click on that. That came up to-maybe I'll just create a folder on my desktop called work PDFs.
Create that and with that folder selected I am going to click add and voila, which is French for you have a new favorite place. Currently, its empty but you can see you did create that folder here on my desktop. So those are the favorite places of your organizer. Finally, we have this third pane called collections. This is a really neat feature of the organizer and you can see it is currently empty so as a way of explanation, you've got this long explanation here of what a collection is and I think the most relevant line here is one of the first ones here.
"The collection is a way that you can group Adobe PFD files together." This allows you to organize your files into groups which makes the most sense to you. For example, all files in a quarterly project, all information about a product you may purchase, and essentially want a collection allows you to do is to take all of these PDFs that may be scattered all over your hard drive and have them all located in a central location. You're not actually moving these PDFs when you add them to a collection. All you're doing is really creating shortcuts to those PDFs. So you can just keep them in their original locations to help keep yourself organized out on your hard drive, but once you're working in Acrobat, when you bring them into a collection, you can also keep them organized here as well and quickly get to them.
So you see they've created these three empty collections for you. They have a description of what a collection is here, but if I were to select one maybe this one would be my work files and I can click and rename this one to home and maybe the third one has to do with band files like so. You can create as many collections as you want. You can always add new ones by clicking on the create a new collection button down here. So if I have PDF files that are in other parts of my organizer.
For instance, if I go back to today here, and let's say that I know that this sales.pdf I am going to be accessing all the time. I am going to drag that right into the work files collection. So you notice now that if I click here, it also has been added to work files. Go back up to my history again and maybe Alice.pdf moves into the work files. Where as band one goes into band files. So you can see that they've been added to our collections.
I can add PDFs to my collections from the history or from anywhere on my hard drive just by coming up here or even from a favorite place. A couple of other ones here that I accessed a little while ago. Here is one that's called story tags. Maybe that one goes in home and maybe lucky mail also goes in work files. So you can see the actual location of all these files are listed down here in the information and when I come over to my actual collection, they're still in their exact same locations. Again, all that collections do is create shortcuts to the locations of these PDF files.
So if I were to delete this particular file by selecting and pressing delete, it says, "Are you sure you want to remove the files from work files?" This will not delete files from your disk. So, again, all it's doing-if I click yes is that it's going to get rid of that shortcut in that particular collection. So it's no longer in my collection, but if I go back and look at my history, I'll still see that it is still located in the exact same place. I can still double click on it and open it. So that's the new organizer in Acrobat 7.
It's available both in Acrobat Standard 7 and Professional. I encourage you to give it a try. Play around with it and you'll probably find that you'll be using it a whole lot.